ARLINGTON, VA – July 6, 2011 – Opower, the home energy management software company, and First Utility, the UK’s largest independent domestic energy company, today announced a new partnership to provide Opower’s home energy management program to First Utility customers. The program will be the first of its kind in the UK and is poised to help First Utility customers find ways to save on their bills. This is Opower’s first implementation outside of the United States.
The Opower program was also highlighted in the “Behavior Change and Energy Use Report,” issued today by UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s Behavioral Insights team and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The report outlines steps the government is taking to work with the private sector to address the energy challenges currently facing the UK, including promoting a series of policies to alleviate rising energy prices for consumers, insulating residential homes, and reducing emissions to address climate change. A central feature of the UK government’s strategy is to deploy Smart Meters to every UK household by 2019, which could allow for the deployment of innovative energy management programs like Opower.
“We know that household budgets are under increasing pressure, and that energy bills are part of that,” said Mark Daeche, Founder of First Utility. “At First Utility, we are able to provide cutting-edge home energy management tools enabled by our recently deployed Smart Meters. We have partnered with Opower, a leading energy management software provider in the United States, to help us deliver the best utility customer experience in the UK, and help our customers save on their bills.”
First Utility, the only UK energy company to offer smart meters to all of its customers, will use the Opower software platform to translate its customers’ smart meter data into a range of new energy-saving tools, including reports that offer comparative consumption information and household-specific analysis of consumption patterns, access to an online portal with detailed usage information, and high bill alerts designed to help customers avoid excessive bills while they still have time to change their usage. Customers will be engaged via mailed reports, web portal, email and SMS messages, as well as social media. This multi-channel engagement approach is designed to reach all demographic segments, regardless of age, income or access to technology, and drive a high level of customer engagement and energy savings.
As the first large-scale, information-based energy efficiency program in the UK, Opower and First Utility intend to work in consultation with the Behavioral Insights Team in the Cabinet Office and DECC to assess the impact of this program to inform future smart meter policy. Energy savings from the program will be measured and verified independently by leading academics in the UK, using data from smart meters.
“We are thrilled to be taking our company global with a customer-focused utility like First Utility, and by the very public acknowledgement we have received from Prime Minister Cameron's Government,” said Opower President and Co-founder Alex Laskey. "When President Obama visited our Arlington office in March of 2010, we were 60 employees working on a pilot basis with two dozen utilities. Today, as we announce our first global client in the UK, we are more than 200 employees, working with nearly 60 utilities and reaching 10 million households. Opower is demonstrating that American innovation is well received abroad and that utilities all around the world are looking to provide cutting-edge energy management tools to their customers and help them become more efficient users of energy."
Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell applauded Opower's global expansion and the company’s continued innovation in the energy efficiency market, stating, “Conservation is an important energy resource. In addition to developing our diverse domestic sources of energy, we must learn to use the energy we generate as efficiently as possible. This innovative Virginia company is leading the way in creating new tools to help us do that. It is one of the many energy businesses located in Virginia contributing to making the Commonwealth 'The Energy Capital of the East Coast.'”
About First Utility: First Utility is the smarter independent utilities supplier, offering electricity and gas services to a range of consumer and business customers. It is the only energy provider to roll out smart meters to all its customers, throughout the UK. It is through the use of smart metering technology that First Utility can empower consumers to manage and reduce their own energy consumption and bills. First Utility is headquartered in Warwick. www.first-utility.com
About Opower: Opower is a leader in energy efficiency and smart grid software, providing the industry’s only multi-channel customer engagement platform proven to deliver energy efficiency gains and other strategic benefits to its utility partners. Using cutting-edge behavioral science and patent-pending data analytics, the Opower platform enables utilities to connect with customers in a highly targeted manner, motivating reductions in energy use, increasing energy efficiency program participation, and improving overall customer satisfaction. More than 55 utilities—including 8 of the US’s 10 largest—have partnered with Opower to improve the effectiveness of their energy-efficiency portfolios significantly while providing an enriched customer experience that leads to higher customer satisfaction rates. For utilities with Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), the Opower platform represents a cost-effective way to convert hourly data into measurable energy savings, delivering the value of the Smart Grid directly to customers. Founded in 2007 and privately held, Opower is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, with a second office in San Francisco, California. For more information, please visit www.opower.com
Phone: (617) 986-5005